1000 Symbols

1000 Symbols

What Shapes Mean in Art and Myth

  1. Rowena Shepherd
  2. Rupert Shepherd
  • ISBN 9780500283516
  • 23.50 x 19.50 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 352pp
  • 1157 Illustrations, 0 in colour
  • First published 2002

1000 Symbols traces and reveals the historical and cross-cultural significance of 1000 commonly recognized symbols in a comprehensive single-volume dictionary for students and the general reader, placing each symbol in its historical and cultural context.

Symbols are often identified as an international language. However, that language is far from universal, and different symbols can mean radically different things in different contexts. A cross, a crane and a swastika each have a distinct meaning for a Buddhist or an art historian, for example, and none of its meanings is quite the same.

• More than 1000 entirely original symbol illustrations
• Text relating the history of each symbol and defining its cross-cultural meanings
• Organized by category, allowing for a rapid review of groups of associated symbols
• Alphabetical listing aids quick identification
• Comprehensively cross-referenced
• Detailed bibliography

Heaven and Earth – all the symbols for the world around us: earth, air, fire and water in their many manifestations, as well as times of day or month, and the identities and symbolic role of the planets.
Characters and People – all the symbolism attached to specific characters or to people or their attributes.
The Body and Actions – the body and its actions have taken on considerable symbolic significance.
Living Creatures – the symbolism of animals, birds, fish and insects.
Mythical Beasts - monsters from the myths and legends of all cultures, including the widespread hybrid man/beast, such as the centaur.
Flowers, Plants and Trees – the symbolism of different species, from the oak to the daisy.
Objects and Artefacts – manufactured objects of symbolism, from the Buddhist mystic knot to the labyrinth.
Abstracts – the key symbolic attributes of numbers, colours, shapes and letters in a variety of cultures and contexts.